House approves increase on scholarship tax credits

Atlanta (AP) – The Georgia House has approved a bill increasing the amount of tax credits available for people donating to organizations that pass the money on for private school scholarships.

The $58 million program has been criticized for letting donors steer scholarships toward specific recipients. A Fulton County judge dismissed a lawsuit claiming that the program was unconstitutionally helping religious schools; the state Supreme Court heard appeal arguments in January but hasn’t ruled.

The bill from Rep. John Carson, a Marietta Republican, increases the annual cap to $65 million in 2018, with annual increases up to $100 million. The House vote was 111 to 62, sending it to the Senate.

Supporters say the scholarships help low-income families find other options.

Opponents argue there’s little evidence the scholarships go to low-income students.

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